NBOA Research Reports

NBOA produces research reports to help business officers, heads of school and other independent school leaders understand key trends in independent school finances and operations that may inform strategic decisions. Some research reports draw on NBOA’s data sets in the Business Intelligence for Independent Schools (BIIS) platform, and others are produced in collaboration with business partners that serve the independent school community. All research reports are available for FREE to NBOA members. Selected reports are available for nonmembers to purchase. For guidance and thought pieces, see the Industry Guidance page.

Questions? Email research@nboa.org or call 202-407-7140.

Tuition Discounting Report

Tuition Discounting Report

For PK-12 Independent Schools

The Tuition Discounting Report analyzes financials from 176 member schools in NBOA’s Business Intelligence for Independent Schools (BIIS) data platform to understand the trends in tuition discounting from 2018-2020. This research serves as a baseline for tracking the effects of tuition discounting, including need-based financial aid, merit aid and scholarships, and tuition remission, on the financial health of the PK-12 nonprofit independent school industry. This report was inspired by the annual NACUBO Tuition Discounting Study which measures higher education institutional tuition discount rates. The Tuition Discounting Report is published with generous financial support from A. W. G. Dewar Inc.

BIIS

COMING SOON

Financial State of the Industry

Financial State of the Industry

BIIS Financial and Operational Indicators: 2019-2020

This report considers financial and operational data from the singular 2019-20 school year, which ended with remote instruction for most independent U.S. schools. Changes in schools’ financial health occurred both before the COVID-19 pandemic and as a result of it. An executive summary and analysis of 17 financial indicators examine tuition, enrollment, expenses, annual giving and operating margin among other areas of interest. Analyses are presented for day schools and schools with boarding as well as by school enrollment. The only research study based on the audited financial statements of independent schools, the report draws on data from hundreds of NBOA member schools collected in the BIIS platform.

BIIS

Released: 2021

NBOA Members   Nonmembers

Free for members  |  $49 for nonmembers*

Commonfund Benchmarks Study

Commonfund Study of Independent School Endowments

Each year, NBOA partners with Commonfund Institute to conduct a survey that assesses independent school endowments and their trends. The study explores a number of timely topics, including total returns, asset allocation, spending-and-fund flows, and debt as well as investment management and governance. The data may inform your school’s asset allocation, endowment spending policy and more.

Released: 2021

NBOA Members   Nonmembers

Members report year: 2020  |  Nonmembers report year: 2016

Financial State of the Industry

Demographics of the Independent School Business Office

Key Research Findings 2020

In support of NBOA’s goals to support diversity, equity and inclusion within our membership, this report explores the background and career path of current business office professionals. Findings touch on demographic markers such as race, gender and educational background as well as professional experience prior to work in an independent school. The report offers insights into business office professionals’ career satisfaction, career goals and needs for professional development. Extensive data on salaries by position and school type is provided.

Released: 2020

NBOA Members  

Free for members

Key Financial Indicators

Key Financial Indicators of Vitality for Independent Schools

BIIS Data Trends 2015-2017

This report, created from an analysis of 2015-2017 trend data from the largest schools in NBOA's Business Intelligence for Independent Schools (BIIS) data collection platform, explores key financial indicators of independent school sustainability and the underlying data points that support them. Case studies of four high-performing schools provide insights into how they achieved their top performance. Harry Bloom, senior vice president, client solutions, at Measuring Success, authored the report.

BIIS

Released: 2018

NBOA Members   Nonmembers

Free for members  |  $49 for nonmembers*

Effects of Tuition Increases

Effects of Tuition Increases on Enrollment Demand

Do tuition increases adversely affect enrollment? Administrative leaders and boards must consider the relationship between these two variables to make confident decisions. NBOA, Measuring Success and ISM collaborated on a study that took a deep dive into this question, exploring the potential impact on schools of different sizes, locations and types.

Released: 2017

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